One of my most favorite things about going on a trip is the actual planning part.
Sure, I love looking forward to the trip.
I love being on the trip.
I love looking at pictures and remembering the trip.
But the planning? It's like a mini-vacation from daily life all by itself.
When I bought the ticket to visit Andrea, the trip planning began immediately. Andrea will tell you--as I am going to tell you--that she almost immediately stopped working on her dissertation/novel and started planning all the many details that needed to get sorted out for our trip. She handled my one-way ticket from Dublin to Glasgow, rented the car, got the ferry tickets from the Lake District over to Northern Ireland, and when it looked like we couldn't get the nights we wanted at a B&B we wanted to stay at, she pulled the ole "but my sister is coming all the way over from America!" in her best American accent. Worked like a charm.
My sister is a planner.
And I am a planner.
We got it from our mom, who is one of the best of the best when it comes to planning.
So I thought I would let you in on the ideas we have going for this trip...and if you have any advice or suggestions, I'd love to hear them. Anyone who has been to Ireland will no doubt say we are doing too much driving, but I don't care. The driving is the vacation.
This is what the itinerary looks like so far. And, yes, the map says 1000 miles of driving. There is no lounging around reading books and taking leisurely walks through the countryside. We've designed this trip to be an epic left-side-of-the-road trip with audiobooks and podcasts and photo stops along the way. Because that is how we roll.
(click the map to enlarge it)
Thursday, April 3rd: Fly from Portland to Dublin, Ireland.
Friday, April 4th: Arrive in Dublin, and then fly to Glasgow, Scotland, where I will be happily reunited with my sister and wish her a very happy 35th birthday (albeit two weeks late). Spend the day tromping around Glasgow, primarily visiting a cafe called Cup where they have cupcakes and tea. Is that not the cutest name? Seriously. I feel like I should start a place over here called Cup.
Also, Friday? Take a nap. Because jet lag, people.
Saturday, April 5th: Train over to Edinburgh primarily to visit popular Harry Potter sites like the tea shop where Rowling wrote bunches of the book and the cemetery where Rowling got inspiration for character names. This was something we were going to do when Jason and I were there in 2012, but since we got stuck in Iceland, then Edinburgh was mostly scratched off the list.
Sunday, April 6th: Rent a car and drive down to the Lake District, where we will stay at a B&B. Wanderings around the Lake District, looking at lakes, I suppose.
Monday, April 7th: Spend the day in the Lake District, going to the World of Beatrix Potter attraction (no doubt very touristy, but I don't care because I am, in fact, a tourist) and also visit The Wordsworth Museum. Spend the rest of the day "wandering lonely as a cloud," minus the loneliness since I'll be with my sister. Actually, if the weather is nice (doubtful), we'll hike around one of the lakes. There are many of them in the Lake District. Naturally.
Tuesday, April 8th: drive a few hours up the coast to Stranraer, where we will take a ferry over to Northern Ireland. Drive to Belfast and stay the night with friends of Andrea's. I'm SUPER excited about this. Staying with people who have lived in Belfast and talking with them about the history of that city would be a bucket list item, if I had a bucket list.
Wednesday, April 9th: Tour Belfast and then drive to Sligo, with the sole purpose of seeing where Yeats is buried. Then drive to Galway.
Thursday and Friday, April 10-11th: Drive the western coast of Ireland, making sure to see the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren. We'll probably skip doing the Ring of Kerry, and just visit Dingle Peninsula and Killarney instead. We may or may not go to Blarney Castle to kiss the Blarney Stone. Possibly visit Rock of Cashel on our drive back to Dublin. Spend evening in Dublin.
Saturday, April 12th: Spend the day in Dublin doing all the touristy things that need to be done. Tons of links I could throw in here, but we haven't quite narrowed down the Absolutely Must Do items yet. Joyce is in there. Drinking Guinness is in there. Trinity College. Hop on hop off bus.
Sunday, April 13th: Fly home.
Oh my goodness, it's going to be epic. Only five more weeks to go!